ComCom Media Lab Holds Global Media Literacy Hackathon
Within the framework of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week, the Media Lab of the Communications Commission held a media literacy hackaton for young people, which aimed to identify media literacy-related challenges and innovative ways of resolving them. 10 teams took part in the hackathon. With the help of professional trainers and mentors, they developed business projects on the issues of ed-tech, protection against fake news and access to information. The Communications Commission awarded the winning teams GEL 5,000, GEL 2,000 and GEL 1,000 respectively.
The four-day event, which was held in partnership with the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), opened with the presentation of topics and rules for the participating teams. Opening speeches were made by the Head of Media Literacy Department at ComCom Mariam Dakhundaridze, Head of Media Academy Shorena Shaverdashvili, GITA project leader Zurab Dzidziguri and Head of the ComCom Media Lab Rusudan Chachanidze. This was followed by training on the specifics of the hackathon, idea refinement and prototype creation, led by the Head of Tech Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development Center Avtandil Mghebrishvili. Director of VRex Immersive Nikoloz Gogochuri later informed young people about how to effectively present an idea.
On October 27, the participating teams worked independently in hybrid mode. The following day, the teams were given personal training based on their needs. In addition, the participants worked with mentors, who helped them refine their startup ideas and provided advice on project development.
On the final day of the hackathon, participants presented their business projects to the jury panel composed of the Head of Media Literacy Department at ComCom Mariam Dakhundaridze, Vice-Chair of ISOC Georgia Chapter Ketevan Rekhviashvili and GITA project leader Zurab Dzidziguri. After the presentations, the panel revealed the winners, who received cash prizes of GEL 5,000, GEL 2,000 and GEL 1,000.
The top prize was won by Easy Verify, which helps people check the authenticity of information with the help of artificial intelligence. The second prize was won by the Befacto platform, which offers a summary of terms and conditions upon visiting various websites. The third prize was won by the video game-based MkvlevR platform, which was established to raise awareness about civic and security-related issues among students.
The 2023 Media and Information Literacy Week opened on 24 October with a meeting with teachers on the subject of integrating media literacy into formal education, followed by the Media Literacy Day. Other scheduled events include the meeting of “Hello Ruby” author and EC digital ambassador Linda Liukas with teachers and parents, a global media literacy hackathon for young people, and a public lecture for students by international media literacy expert, Professor Renee Hobbs. The Media and Information Literacy Week will conclude on 31 October with a summary conference, which will include panel discussions involving senior representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, United Nations, European Union, UNICEF and World Bank.
The Media Literacy Week, which aims to raise public awareness about the importance of media literacy, has been held annually following the 2021 UN resolution.